Weekend Roundup: 4G in our sights, Microsoft changes logo, tech titans gear up for IFA

4G finally in our sights

On Tuesday, the deadlock was finally broken in Britain’s long wait for high-speed 4G mobile networks. Telecoms regulator Ofcom gave Everything Everywhere the all-clear for an 11 September roll out of its spectrum upgrade, meaning UK consumers will soon be able to enjoy the technology on deals with EE subsidiaries Orange and T-Mobile.

If you’ve been following the rather protracted 4G saga preceding this week’s announcement, you’ll be able to guess what the other mobile operators thought about Ofcom’s decision to give Everything Everywhere a head-start with the network roll out. The likes of Vodafone and O2 have persistently, and often angrily, voiced concerns over the possibility of EE sneaking an early advantage with the technology, so there was little surprise when Vodafone said it was “frankly shocked” at Ofcom’s decision, which showed a “careless disregard for the best interests of consumers.” Because it was the consumers Vodafone et al were worried about all along of course…

2012 is turning into a huge, and perhaps pivotal, year for Microsoft. The Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 operating systems are all on the way in the software department, and an intriguing piece of hardware is set for release in the shape of the Surface tablet. The company has therefore undergone a rebrand ahead of the impending product onslaught.

Microsoft's rather clunky logo has been replaced with a sensibly modernised, if not wholly exciting new version. The change ties in with the renewed emphasis on image for Microsoft. The Surface tablet and press images that accompanied its introduction were certainly heavy on the visual side, and our own Desire goes as far as calling it a “transformation into an Apple-inspired company”. It will be interesting to see if this broader strategy boosts sales when that raft of products comes to market.

IFA 2012

ITProPortal is well and truly braced for IFA 2012, which kicks off in Berlin next week. If the trade show is true to form, it will provide us with new products galore – hence why we now have our very own IFA hub to consolidate all the announcements brought to you by our team at the event.

What’s more, Germany-bound James has summarised what we can expect from the major companies in attendance. Samsung has resisted the temptation to play it coy before the show and has confirmed the arrival of the Galaxy Note 2, another device for the crudely-dubbed ‘phablet’ market. Its unveiling certainly won’t grab the headlines that a certain smartphone from Apple will next month, but the Korean firm will nevertheless be hoping to steal a march, and maybe a few sales from its bitter rival.

Speculation on what LG, Sony, Acer and the re-branded Microsoft may be offering in Berlin is also covered to whet that IFA appetite, so get stuck into the preview. Now all we need is the actual event…roll on Thursday.